Not everything can be for everyone, and over the course of the past few comebacks, I’ve learned that (G)I-DLE’s music isn’t often for me. Even when I can objectively recognize certain songs as “good,” they still grate on my ears. I think this comes down to Soyeon’s approach to songwriting. I recognize how popular she’s become, but I just don’t connect with her style. So, it’s probably important to take that inherent bias into account when reading any of my reviews on their work.
New single DUMDi DUMDi (덤디덤디) (enough with the onomatopoeia titles, girl groups!) takes (G)I-DLE’s music in a slightly different direction, while retaining many of the quirks that I personally find irritating. It’s their first attempt at a full-on summer song, and the optimistic melody during DUMDi’s opening verse bears that out. It’s a pity, then, that the track quickly moves into a messy pre-chorus, first plunging into trap-fueled posturing before transforming into a standard EDM build.
Unlike the dreadful Oh My God, DUMDi DUMDi is anchored by an actual chorus, and the hook has potential. It’s big and brash in a way that’s reminiscent of ITZY, but the arrangement feels needlessly messy. There are quite a few competing ideas within this track, and I wish they had been streamlined into something that worked more consistently. I appreciate the attempt to bolster the song with intense, ever-shifting percussion, but a steadier groove would have given DUMDi a satisfying drive. The rhythm during the second verse is genuinely funky, buoyed by Soyeon’s compelling flow. It just doesn’t stick around long enough. Most of the time, DUMDi DUMDi is too busy pin-balling between its various segments to linger on its strengths.
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